PLAYERS from Saints Women’s team smashed a charity challenge at the new JYSK St Helens store’s VIP evening on Friday.

The women joined guests at the exclusive pre-opening evening event ahead of the store’s grand opening the following morning at St Helens Retail Park, just next door to the Saints’ Totally Wicked Stadium.

St Helens Star:

Saints Women play the pass the pillow challenge

The players pitted their sporting skills and competitive team spirit against a timed challenge for the town’s homeless.

Saints Women delivered a resounding victory, earning £500 for the town’s homeless in around a minute as they raced to pass JYSK pillows hand to hand to the top of the store’s stairs.

Each pillow earned £5 for homeless people, and JYSK added a further £200 top up bonus.

The store team went on to beat the previous JYSK UK sales record for a new store’s opening first day as St Helens gave the retailer a warm welcome.

St Helens Star:

Hello St Helens: The Saints women were the stars of the show

St Helens Star:

Queues formed at the opening ceremony, with residents turning out in force despite the weather.

The sneak-preview VIP event, which attracted business leaders, community groups, to the Scandinavian-owned global furniture group.

They included Saints owner Eamonn McManus, who is also the chair of the St Helens Economy Board.

St Helens Star: St Helens Star:

St Helens South and Whiston MP Marie Rimmer, representatives from Invest St Helens and Teardrops homeless charity were also among the guests.

Country Manager for JYSK UK, David Ashton spent some time giving Mr McManus a thorough tour of the store, talking all things JYSK and rugby.

Mr Ashton, who has welcomed 12 staff to the store, said: “We are grateful for everyone who came along to the VIP event, and to the customers who turned out to visit the store on its first day of trading. Thank you St Helens.

“I am also delighted that we broke yet another record in St Helens.

“We plan to remain competitive, with a great offer for our customers, and do our best to make breaking records a habit.

Other local groups attending included St Helens Soroptimists and WI.